Coffee, beer and rice: Try a risotto dish that Stanley Tucci called a ‘revelation’

Editor’s Note – Don’t miss “Stanley Tucci: In Search of Italy,” which airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET. Tucci travels around Italy to discover the secrets and delights of the regional cuisines of this country.
(CNN) – Piedmont, a region in northwestern Italy, is dedicated to risotto. And the heart of this food tradition is the city of Vercelli, where rice cookers, restaurants specializing in risotto are everywhere. One of the best places to try in the Italian rice capital is located in the back of a 1960s tourist hotel, called Hotel Cinzia. The Christian and Manuel restaurant is run by two brothers who give this dish a modern stamp.

The version signed by Christian and Manuel Costardi is a risotto with Grana Padano cream, beer reduction and coffee. The taste should be cappuccino or tiramisu, but risotto – all in one dish. The menu offers a selection of 20 risottos, according to a Michelin guide, and the unique dishes of the chef’s owners brought them a Michelin star.

Inspired by Andy Warhol’s “Campbell’s Soup Cans,” the Costardi brothers playfully serve risotto in individual metal cans.

“This completely changed everything I thought about risotto,” Stanley Tucci said as he watched the dish being prepared during the episode “Stanley Tucci: In Search of Italy.” “It’s a discovery. It’s a thousand things in one can. Wow!”
Tucci’s first introduction to risotto was his mother’s risotto Milanese, found in “The Tucci Cookbook”. For rice, he recommends looking for brands with the superfine Carnaroli label. If this is not available, buy super fine rice Arborio or Vialone Nano, which is found in most supermarkets.

Tucci says there are two important steps you need to remember when making risotto:

“First, before adding the liquid, heat the rice well,” he wrote in his cookbook. “This will seal the rice grains and prevent them from overcooking. Second, test the rice for the desired texture after it has been cooked for 12 to 15 minutes. The risotto can be served al dente, with a mild crunchy bite, or a softer consistency – the choice is to you … Just don’t overcook the risotto or it will turn into a paste. “

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Risotto with Grana Padano cream, discount on beer and coffee

(Risotto with Grana Padano cream, beer and coffee cutter)

Rearrange four clean soup cans for serving or use plates if desired. If you want to prepare your own vegetable soup, prepare it in advance. Costardis suggest adding celery, carrots and slightly charred onions to the soup.

Christian and Manuel Costardis use Cervia sea salt from the Adriatic coast and black Sarawak peppercorns, which you can find in specialty stores or online if you want to try them.

Makes 4 servings


4 cups 1 liter of beer

3.5 ounces + unce ounces | 100 grams + 15 grams Grana Padano (similar to Parmigiano Reggiano cheese), aged for 27 months, freshly grated

1 cup ¼ liters of whipped cream

1 ¼ cups 300 grams of Carnaroli rice

Sea salt (medium coarse)

Freshly ground black pepper

About 12 cups 3 liters of vegetable soup bought in the store, plus more if needed

1/3 cup 25 grams of cold unsalted butter

Ground coffee, preferably Arabica


Jam Funnel (if served in cans)


1. First start preparing the beer reduction. Put the beer in a large pot over high heat. Bring to a boil, then simmer over low heat and let the beer simmer until the consistency is like soft caramel, about 45 minutes. As the beer decreases, the alcohol evaporates, and the remaining liquid has a concentration of flavor in which the spicy notes are intensified. Remove from the heat and allow to cool (this is best done the day before; after it cools, place in the fridge overnight in an airtight container).

2. Prepare Grana Padano cream. Using a cheese grater or microplane, grate 100 grams of Grana Padana. Heat the cream in a saucepan over medium heat at 158 ​​degrees Fahrenheit (70 degrees Celsius) and add Grana Padano. Whisk the cream with a whisk until smooth, maintaining the temperature at 100 F (40 C). At higher temperatures there is a danger of not getting a homogeneous cream. If the cream is not smooth, strain it through a strainer and simmer at 40 C.

3. Continue to prepare the risotto. In a risotto pot, toast the dry rice over medium heat, shake the pot and stir the rice until it sings, 2 to 3 minutes. Don’t let the rice burn. Add a pinch of salt and grate the pepper. Continue to cook over high heat and add the vegetable broth little by little, stirring constantly after each addition and let the rice absorb it. Cook, stirring constantly, until rice becomes al dente with a light bite in the middle of the grain, 15 to 20 minutes. The risotto should look creamy in texture. Check the taste and remove from the heat. Add the cold butter and the remaining ½ ounces (15 grams) of Grana Padano to the pot and shake with wavy movements (watch the video) to include them in the rice.

4. If serving: Put coffee grounds and a few drops of beer reduction on the bottom of the can. Using a jam hopper, add rice, Grana Padano cream, coffee grounds and beer reduction.

5. If you use boards: Arrange the risotto on each plate, add Grana Padano cream, sprinkle with coffee grounds and finish with beer reduction.

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